Tuesday Morning Coffee- Lightning Strikes

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via photos.upi.com

There was a time this season where the Canucks saw this game and no doubt licked their chops.  The Lightning have been on the outside looking in, and have suffered through some dysfunctional ownership that made Phoenix look like the model of consistency at times.  But with Oren Koules and Len Barrie now out of the picture and Jeff Vinik in, the Lightning may have a chance at succeeding again.  More on this crucial battle tonight after the jump...

Despite righting the ship on Saturday morning, the Canucks still have a daunting task ahead of them with 3 games over the next 4 nights.  Common sense would tell us that Luongo plays tonight in Tampa, Thursday in Florida and then Andrew Raycroft slotting in the next night in Columbus.  Let's hope that common sense is used.  With the Colorado Avalanche drawing even with the Canucks in points last night, they need to continue winning to try and gain some separation at the top of the division before the Olympic break.  A strong performance tonight to gain some momentum in the last half of this first chunk of the Road Trip From Hell (tm) will go a long way in achieving that.

Obviously having Pavol Demitra return to Vancouver for personal reasons is a blow to the team, and his absence will see Jannik Hansen draw back into the lineup.  Chances are Steve Bernier will be let out of the dog house and Darcy Hordichuk will be the odd man out tonight.  Maybe this means Bernier will finally awaken from his slumber and... yeah, I know.  I can't even type the words.  

So as I am sometimes want to do, I scoured youtube for a video that would fit the theme of this post and I actually came up with two: one is some NWOBHM goodness from Tokyo Blade, the other an unintentionally funny Aerosmith clip...


You'll note this is a Joe Perry-less version of the band.  Must have been in the Toxic Twins heyday.  And does Steven Tyler not make the most unconvincing hood ever?  First guy to go down in a gang fight no doubt...

Anyways, back to the important stuff... We have our usual pre-game and game day posts to fill you in on all you need to know heading into this matchup, but here's something to ponder: Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf sprained an ankle last night and is awaiting MRI results, a serious injury could see him miss the Olympics.  Who gets the call, Steven Stamkos or... Alex Burrows.  Yes, at the risk of sounding like a homer, I think Yzerman would be a genius to replace Getzlaf with a guy who has the offensive and defensive capabilities of an Alex Burrows.  Something to think about anyways...

This muffin tastes like... fail.

I don't know what was more painful to watch last night: The Oilers getting pasted... again, St. Louis getting thumped by the Avs, or the hit Jeff Carter laid on the Devils' Anssi Salmela

The JS Gigeure love-a-thon came to a screeching halt as the Leafs battled back to tie the game only to lose in the third.  Dion Phaneuf had an assist and was a -1.  Nazim Kadri made his NHL debut as an emergency call up from his junior team, necessitated by a couple Leafs players felled by food poisoning.  Kadri was also a -1.

As far as the Oilers, what can you say?  I guess now it's just a matter of who gets traded out, and who gets fired first, Pat Quinn, Steve Tambellini or Kevin Lowe.  My guess is they clean house at the end of the year, but if they had to pick a survivor, bet on Quinn.

The NHL announced today that 6 teams will open their seasons in Europe next year, paving the way for Gary Bettman's ultimate goal of having every team play everywhere all the time.  The Vancouver Canucks will play all 82 games on the road, opening their season in Mumbai against the Devils, then the next night in Florida against the Panthers.  Meh.  Can't they just play for their fans, and not on the other side of the freakin' planet?

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